Event to raise funds in memory of slain teacher, MU alumna

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 6:39 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — An MU group is honoring a slain educator's memory by raising funds in her honor.

Friends of Jen, a group that is working with the College of Education, will be hosting a trivia night at 6 p.m. Friday in Stotler Lounge at Memorial Union.

Trivia Night

Friends of Jen is raising funds to go toward an endowed scholarship to honor MU alumna Jennifer Wilson.

  • Time: 6 p.m., Friday
  • Location: Stotler Lounge at Memorial Union
  • Cost: $15 for preregistered individuals or $20 at the door. Groups are $150 with preregistration.
  • Contact: Danielle Johnson by email at or phone at 303-2160

Danielle Johnson, an organizer for the event, said the group is seeking to ultimately raise $25,000 to fund an endowed scholarship through a series of fundraisers, beginning with the trivia night.

The group is raising funds for a scholarship in memory of Jennifer L. Wilson, a slain educator and MU alumna.

Wilson, who graduated with an education doctorate in 2004, was 36when she died in August, the Missourian reported. Her boyfriend, Hank Hawes, was charged with murder.

Jennifer Timmons, the public information officer with the Columbia, S.C., police, told the Missourian that Wilson had been stabbed multiple times when officers found her body.

An assistant professor of education at the University of South Carolina, Wilson had taught students in Norway, Tanzania and China during her academic career.

"In her 36 years, she did some really, really amazing things," Johnson said.

Carol Gilles, a member of Friends of Jen and an associate professor of education, said Wilson was an excellent teacher. Gilles, who was Wilson's academic adviser, had co-authored various academic papers with her.

"Jennifer was like a bright light," she said.

The first scholarship is expected to be awarded to graduate education students in spring 2013, Johnson said.

Through the scholarship, the group's aim is to keep Wilson's memory and commitment to teaching alive, Johnson said.

"It was the only way to go," Johnson said about creating the scholarship, "and that way, she wouldn't go away either."

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